The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a first-person story-driven mystery. Purchase this game to get both the original and the Unreal Engine 4 remaster called The Vanishing of Ethan Carter Redux.
User reviews: Very Positive (5,550 reviews) - 89% of the 5,550 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Sep 25, 2014

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Recent updates View all (9)

September 15, 2015

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter Redux Update 1.01

– Scale resolution 150% added, great cost/effect ratio
– Proper mouse behavior in menus (no extra click needed)
– Fixed re-assigning keys to arrow keys
– Perma-config, no longer requires the load of a savegame
– Water Reflections can now be turned off
– Smart Crosshair turns off in the outro
– Fixed the fog flash after Start New Game
– Proper display of graphics options on a fresh install
– Language now remembered 100% of the time
– Smaller visual and code/script fixes
– Disabled the VR support. Details: http://www.theastronauts.com/2015/09/the-vanishing-of-ethan-carter-redux-out-now/

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September 12, 2015

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter Redux Out Now!

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter Redux is an Unreal Engine 4 remaster of the original PC game. It is a free game for the current and future owners of the original.

You should already have the game in your Library. It's a separate game from the original (i.e. not a patch) because this way you can choose which one takes your HDD space. You can hide the other one by right click, then Set Categories, then Hide This Game From Library.

Details here in this blog post.

(You might like the part about the secret exe file)

Also, Ethan is now 40% off for 24 more hours! Let your friends know!

29 comments Read more

Reviews

“A story told with a level of cleverness and elegance rarely seen in games.”
9/10 – GameSpot

“Leaves you with several amazing memories; moments that you will want to talk to your friends about for hours.”
9/10 – EuroGamer

“One of the best games of the year.”
9/10 – US Gamer

About This Game

GOOD NEWS EVERYONE: By purchasing the game, you actually get two games now: 1) The original The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, 2) The Unreal Engine 4 remaster called The Vanishing of Ethan Carter Redux. Please see this link for details.

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a first-person story-driven mystery game that focuses entirely on exploration and discovery. It contains no combat or explosions of any kind. If our game leaves any scars, we hope you won’t be able to see them.

You play the game as Paul Prospero, an occult-minded detective who receives a disturbing letter from Ethan Carter. Realizing the boy is in grave danger, Paul arrives at Ethan’s home of Red Creek Valley, where things turn out to be even worse than he imagined. Ethan has vanished in the wake of a brutal murder, which Paul quickly discerns might not be the only local murder worth looking into.

Inspired by the weird fiction (and other tales of the macabre) from the early twentieth century, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter aims to significantly evolve immersive storytelling in games. While it features a private detective and quite a few mental challenges, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is not an especially puzzle-ridden game. Our focus is on atmosphere, mood, and the essential humanity of our characters.

Still, the discoveries won’t happen on their own, or without your help. Using both Paul’s supernatural skill of being able to communicate with the dead, and your own powers of observation, you will discover the mystery behind a trail of corpses, the roots of a dark ancient force lurking in Red Creek Valley, and the fate of a missing boy.

Key Features


  • Explore and interact with the beautiful yet ominous world of Red Creek Valley, which was created with the use of revolutionary photogrammetry technology that allows for nearly photorealistic environments.
  • Communicate with the dead and see how they died in order to gather clues that help you piece together the truth behind Ethan’s disappearance -- and the fate of his family.
  • Experience, in non-linear fashion, a story that combines the pleasures of pulp, private eye, and horror fiction, all of it inspired by writers such as Raymond Chandler, Algernon Blackwood, Stefan Grabinski, and H. P. Lovecraft.
  • Conduct the investigation on your own terms and at your own pace. Although there are a few scary bits in the game, players will have no need for sedatives. Our game is less about terror and more about clammy unease.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 64-bit
    • Processor: Intel Core2 Duo or equivalent AMD
    • Memory: 6 GB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX11 compliant card with 1GB of VRAM
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Storage: 9 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX9c compliant
Helpful customer reviews
228 of 262 people (87%) found this review helpful
11 people found this review funny
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 30, 2015
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is an adventure game which was released on PC in mid 2014, and then later released on the PS4 in the summer of 2015.

This is an open world style environment where you have very little guidance on where to go or what to do. You are left to your own devices and to progress in the game. There are a number of puzzles which you must find yourself and pretty much solve with no aid at all. Some of the puzzles are pretty hard to even locate. All of the puzzles are solved by using paranormal abilities such as sensing where objects are in the world or assembling a time line of events of the past. This was my favourite gameplay mechanic in The Vanishing of Ethan Cater, you essentially have to work out the order of events that led up to the murder of a character. This is done by seeing small memories throughout the world and then just ordering them by assigning them a number by walking up to the memory. This really makes you think about the events which have taken place, and some of them can be quite shocking!

The graphics in The Vanishing of Ethan Cater are absolutely gorgeous, easily one of the best looking games out there at the moment. The game runs in the Unreal engine 3, and the developers have really pushed it to it’s limits here. There is a wide array of graphical options in the menu, allowing you to customize it how you want. All of the graphical elements are perfectly designed. Sunsets, water reflections, foliage, all of it looks almost has a photographic realism to it.

Plot wise, this game has a very interesting tale to tell; I have to admit, it took me at least 15 minutes or so for me to really understand what was happening but after that I was fully immersed and engaged in the story. You will see plenty of twists and turns right until the final credits.

The Vanishing of Ethan Cater is fully voice acted to an extremely high standard; all of the sound effects are really well made too, such as the sounds of the forest, lakeside noises and other ambient sounds that go unnoticed, unless you actually listen out for them.

As this game has some moments in it where you have no idea where to go or how to progress, I had to resort to the use of a walkthrough, many people who read my reviews will know that it is something I have to do on a regular basis for this genre of game. Saying that, even with the use of a walkthrough, there are still moments where you have to put a lot of thought into the puzzles. There is also only one “enemy” in The Vanishing of Ethan Cater throughout the whole story, and I was a little disappointed that it wasn’t made to be a more challenging encounter than it was, since you could easily navigate your way around it with ease.

The open world in which The Vanishing of Ethan Cater is set in, is giant, and you can find something interesting to look at everywhere you turn; there are tons of different letters, journals, books and signs to interact with to get even more depth from the story. You won’t really encounter any other characters in real time though, all of the other NPCs you find will be when you are using your paranormal abilities, so there isn’t any real character interaction going on.

This game took me just under three and a half hours to complete; I feel that to be a perfect length for any adventure game like this, as it allows for a plot to be formed, fleshed out and resolved in a timely manner. Bear in mind, this was with a walkthrough for the majority of it; if you are going in blind, I would estimate you are looking at a five or six hour game.

I started out playing The Vanishing of Ethan Cater on a 4K resolution, and whilst it was playable with the majority of the settings on full, I still had the odd frame rate drop when I was looking in a direction which had a lot to render, such as over the dam. When dropping the resolution down to 1080p, the frame drops stopped and I was able to continue playing at a smooth 60 FPS. The game does have full controller compatibility, however I would recommend you use a keyboard and mouse for this game, just because it’s first person and a mouse makes controlling so much easier.

In conclusion, The Vanishing of Ethan Cater is a very nicely presented adventure game; whilst it doesn’t have any really fast paced action moments, it does have some intriguing puzzles and well throughout story behind it. You will also get to see one of the best looking games to date, and that is something which you should not miss out on. I won’t go as far to say The Vanishing of Ethan Cater is a must play for a PC game, but I will highly recommend it, just because the game has very little, if any negative points, and everything else is done to an exceptionally high standard.

Tom's Score Card
1) Stay away
2) Only recommended when on sale
3) Recommended
4) Highly recommended
5) This is a must play

If you found this review helpful, please consider giving it a thumbs up. You can also find more reviews over at http://www.completingthebackloggroup.com/

http://store.steampowered.com/app/258520/
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115 of 128 people (90%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
12.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 23, 2015
When I was about 9 years old I dug through my brother's locker while he was away at college. It was an old brown wooden locker with large hotdog shaped handles and the lock had finally given way after years of pulling on it when no one was looking. It popped open with a quiet squeak, and inside was a giant tangle of tennis rackets, socks, a few ribbons, a couple of award plaques, old t-shirts, some stinky cologne shaped like a turn of the century automobile, and an old rusty tin. The rusty tin caught my eye. I secreted it away in my room and shut the locker. The lid gave way with a bit of rust and inside were items that I still find fascinating to this day. Old comic books. Really old. Older than he was, dating from the 30's, 40's, and 50's. It must have been handed down to him from my grandpa or grand uncle, I never found out. They were aged and nearly falling apart. Inside them were stories of horror, alien attacks, secret people under the sea awaiting to attack, detective stories, ghost stories, and a distinctly remember a giant sea monster attacking a guy in an old diving suit that looked like something out of Bioshock.
It was with that type of fascination for discovery that I felt completely taken in by The Vanishing of Ethan Carter.

You are Paul Prospero, a detective looking for young Ethan Carter. From the moment you step out of the tunnel, the graphics pull you in and narration starts. It's not frivolous. The dialogue has a will of it own and the mystery keeps you in the dark about what is really going on. You start out finding clues and small side stories. Each story takes you on a mini journey. There are puzzles involved and clues to be sorted out in chronological order. Generally, these fairly are straightforward and the hardest part really is figuring out how to get to the next clue sorting mini game. Followed by those are cut scenes of your clues in order blending into the game quite well about a very devious evil that pressures Ethan's family.

Among all this are some of the best graphics I've seen in a game. And I found myself taking more and more screenshots. Stared at some trees for almost 5 minutes. Left
the river running in game and just sat back to enjoy the environment with my eyes closed for the sound experience. It's serene. The backdrop to all these dark missions, is the most relaxing background I've come upon.

And the missions are a reasonable difficulty level. Nothing is right in front of you, yet not hidden from sight. I'd say it's just right. Ok, well that crow did take me ages to find, but besides that I thought *pacing* was set very tightly to a good groove.

Gameplay is straightforward with clicking on certain items that glow with inviting text, but you *do* need to complete certain events in order to move forward. If you get stuck, you might have overlooked something that has to be done first. You won't need to combine many items or keep an inventory, it's elegantly simple in it's design.

The ending does come a little quick. Yet, I had no feelings of "aww, that's it??!!". If anything I felt like it came to a very satisfying end. And I played the ending a few times just to see it again. You'll get about 3-5 hrs out of it depending if you go quickly or search every nook and cranny like I did. And sometimes I'd just let it run for the hell of it as background scenery.

When I was done I found I was missing a few achievements. Those are not easy to locate without a guide. However, I do not advise looking at a guide until you have finished the game. You will get so much more out of it that way. This is a wonderful story, or rather set of stories. Hidden away in a secret locker inside a tin. Waiting for the lock to give way. 9/10.
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34 of 34 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 5, 2015
Note: I completed the Redux version of the game.

I've heard so many wonderful things about this game but I held off buying it because I'm not really a fan of walking simulator type of games. However, just a few minutes of watching an LP video on YouTube finally convinced me to pull the trigger. And I'm glad I did as I enjoyed it very much. Not only did I complete the game on the same day I bought it, I did it in one sitting as well. I just HAD to know what happened to Ethan.

+ Graphics looked absolutely amazing!
+ Music and sounds are suitably melancholic and eerie.
+ Interesting story that will keep you captivated.
+ Simple but tight controls.
+ Easy and a variety puzzles.
+ They included the Redux version, free of charge, with the game's purchase. How awesome are the developers?!

- A simple and short tutorial would be nice (though they do warn you about the no-hand-holding thinghy as you start the game).
- Voice acting could be better.
- Short gameplay (about 5 ~ 6 hours).

The ending left me sad and melancholic. I can safely say that I was very much immersed in the story.

I would probably play it again just to look the beautiful views of Red Valley Creek. An absolute steal if you can get it when it's on sale.

My Rating: 8/10
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15 of 15 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: February 1
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter revolves about finding the boy (Ethan) who wants to be a writer - so he creates many interesting supernatural short stories. Who are you, you might ask - let's say that doesn't matter. You are there to investigate what happened with Ethan and his family that got possessed by evil.

What distinguish this game from other walking simulators, is definitely the graphics, sounds and music. It's made so delicately that you'll enjoy every second walking in the Red Creek Valley. And if you are more impatient or just want to quickly return somewhere, don't worry, developers allowed you to sprint (this is not Dear Esther). The nature around you feels like modded Skyrim that even on newest desktop builds run on low FPS, but Unreal Engine 4 makes a difference and this game, since the Redux edition that you get for free, runs great!

The gameplay itself is casual, most of the time you'll be exploring the valley, with interludes of dark memories of Carter family, and interludes where Ethan's short stories become real. Those stories are really nice and there's the one that stands out from the others - I won't spoil much, I'll just say that the Lovecraftian horror fans will get excited.

What's worse is the length of the game, the game offers about 3 hours of entertainment with getting all achievements, and not much replayability. That fact is compensated with the beautiful environment and precious soundtrack. In the end it's all about your priorities, if you prefer the environment and story, or the length.

I understand if you don't want to pay 19 euros for a short walking simulator but trust me - if you will see it on sale, buy it. It's a great experience.
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15 of 15 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 12, 2015
Now this has to be a prime example to every dev company out there as how a game can look absolutely stunningly gorgeous with perfect performance that never drop below 60fps! The redux version solved all the problems with display resolution the original had (locked at 16:9) and it made the journey even more beautiful.

You play as a paranormal detective, on his last case - where you get a letter from Ethan calling for your help. As you arrive in Red Creek Valley, you'll be struck with an insane amount of details around you. The vistas you'll be seeing in this game are just pure art! No screenshot can do this game any justice.

The narrative is something completely different to standard adventure games but it blends in perfectly with the atmosphere. It's slow, casual, and cosy. The game never holds your hand and as you take the role of Paul Prospero, you're free to roam the Valley as you please, and at your own pace. There are only a few puzzles in the game and all of them can be finished within a few hours so please take your time to enjoy the visuals. It's completely worthy, and Ethan's story is a very interesting one even though I semi-expected a bit more emotional ending.
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